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Despite their status as major American novelists, Edith Wharton and Willa Cather have rarely been studied together. Scholar Julie Olin-Ammentorp compares the parallel experiences of both, revealing a shared concern about the place of cultural in the United States.
Julie Olin-Ammentorp discusses her new book Edith Wharton, Willa Cather, and the Place of Culture the first comparative study in more than thirty years. This book combines biographical, historical, and literary analyses with a focus on place and aesthetics to reveal Wharton’s and Cather’s parallel experiences of dislocation, their relationship to each other as writers, and the profound similarities in their theories of fiction. Olin-Ammentorp provides a new assessment of the affinities between Wharton and Cather. In doing so she reveals the two authors’ shared concern about the culture of place and the place of culture in the United States.
“Edith Wharton, Willa Cather, and the Place of Culture is a game changer, opening up the ways we look at two of the most famous American writers (male or female) of the early twentieth century.” —Laura Rattray, editor of Edith Wharton in Context
Julie Olin-Ammentorp is a professor of English at Le Moyne College. She is the author of Edith Wharton, Willa Cather, and the Place of Culture (University of Nebraska Press, 2019) and of Edith Wharton’s Writings from the Great War (2004). In addition, she has published over twenty-five articles, including essays in Edith Wharton in Context (2012), Edith Wharton’s The Custom of the Country: A Reassessment (2010), Willa Cather and Modern Culture (2011), and in journals as varied as Letterature d’America: Rivista Trimestrale and The Henry James Review. She is a member of the Board of Governors of the National Willa Cather Center and a past president of the Edith Wharton Society.